Watch Azeem go!

I’m the one to chase: Mohd Azeem Fahmi celebrating his 100m win at the Perak Open recently. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Can Mohd Azeem Fahmi make his mark in his first world junior event in the sprint event?

The 18-year-old certainly has a chance to create a ripple as he has confirmed his participation in the 100m and 200m events for the World Athletics Under-20 championships in Cali, Colombia, from Aug 1-6.

Azeem, who had qualified for the 100m earlier, also made the cut for the 200m when he beat the qualifying time with his personal best of 20.89s in his gold-medal victory at the Sarawak Junior Athletics Championships on Sunday.

National athletics squad chief coach Mohd Manshahar Abdul Jalil believes that with his latest performance, Azeem, who recorded his personal best of 10.28s in the 100m, is capable of running faster in both events in Cali.

“The chance is there for him (in Cali). With 10.28s (100m) and 20.89s (200m), he can at least break into the top 12 or 16. If Azeem can enter one of the finals, it is a good indication for the young sprinter.

“He is young, still free of injury and is being trained by his coach. There is a great future for Azeem. It would not be a surprise for him to improve his timing one month from now in Cali,” he said.

In the Sarawak meet, the 20.89 mark is the second fastest 200m run in the country after the national record of 20.77 set by Russel Alexander Nasir Taib, while Azeem also set a new national junior record.

The world junior meet could also be the venue for him to make up for his disappointment in the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, in May after he was disqualified in the 100m for a false start.

Apart from Azeem, three national junior athletes who will also be appearing in the world junior meet are men’s 110m hurdles runner Elvin Yap, Jonah Chang (men’s shot putt) and Mohd Shah Sholihin (men’s triple jump).

Manshahar said the size of the national squad is similar to the 2016 edition in Bydogoszcz, Poland, and that is a positive indication of the future.

“Elvin clocked 14.02s in the Johor Open. With his physique and height, he has a bright future, similarly with Jonah who recorded 19.40m in Germany and Shah, who is a newcomer with a jump of 15.60m in the Pahang Open.

“In the triple jump, we have successors for Mohd Hakimi Ismail in Andre Anura Anuar and now Shah, so there is no lack of talents there in the long run,” he said. — Bernama

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Mohd Azeem Fahmi , world junior , sprint


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